Best British Car Day Ever?
By Sharon Tanihara
(photos by Sharon Tanihara, Rick Snover, Louis Galper & Ron Davies)

This yearís British Car Day marked a one-year anniversary for me and my Healey. Last year was my carís first club event in over 20 years, not that she didnít want to participate. It was me who was holding her back. Every year, Iëd renew my membership in a couple of clubs, and then just sit and wait for the newsletters to roll in. Last year, I decided it was time to get into action. I picked a club, San Diego, and an event, British Car Day, and signed her up. Well, we had more fun than I can begin to describe ñ our first-ever British Car Day in Bonsall was a truly memorable event.

So the big question this year was, how could we top that?

Well, for starters, last yearís night-before-Bonsall nightmare was sitting in traffic at night with no engine, no lights and no fuel pump sounds; this yearís was an overdrive hiccup and re-installing the transmission cover by myself, at night, in the dark. I havenít decided yet which was worse.

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Checking out the overdrive hiccup the day before Bonsall - Started in daylight, finished at night.
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AHCSD members Louis Galper, Rick Snover, Matt Wilson & Roland Wilhelmy directing traffic.

Last year, the several friends who accompanied me thoroughly enjoyed the cars, the weather and the camaraderie; this year, my newly found friend, George Fukuda (see ìWings and Wheels...and Memoriesî) had a ball! The classic British cars brought back memories of his 100M in the 50's and the V-8 of Lee Dompe brought a smile to his face. George and I have a mutual admiration society going ñ I told him he is my hero for being such an active, energetic senior; he says I have been his inspiration for beginning work on restoring one of the two Healeys that have been sitting in his backyard for 25 years.

One thing for sure about both years - the field was filled with hundreds of beautiful British cars [over 425, a new record!], with AHCSD members this year winning all three Big Healey awards, and best Sprite. And my car? Well, while she wasn't good enough to be the best car there, at least she wasn't bad enough to be the worst!

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Our ìBest Club Displayî award-winning booth.
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Bob Segui and his (U.S. Ford) Healey Fiesta

Another similarity of both years was the hundreds of British car enthusiasts enjoying each otherís company and a pleasant day's outing with their cars. This year, there was a new co-sponsor, Home Town Buffet, which served up a complete picnic luncheon for all the hungry participants and spectators who didn't bring their own picnic, and took care of parking all day. Of course, sponsorship brings up the question of ìbigger is betterî for the future vs. the smaller, more relaxed atmosphere of the past. Maintaining a happy medium will be a goal to keep in mind.

So which yearís event was the better? There are so many variables to consider and compare, making it hard to say, so letís just say every British Car Day is the best ñ wouldnít you agree?

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The Daviesí Corral
Weíre hearing estimates of 460 entered cars. They ran out of entry packets at 425, so it may be a while before we get an exact number. Same goes for the walk-in count, which was on the order of 500, and the raffle take for charity. Iíll try to get the exact figures and publish them next month.

AHCSD Members took four out of the five Healey awards available
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Eric Hoopingarnerís 100M
First Place, Big Healeys
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Sandy & Lily Leonís Bugeye
First Place, Sprites

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Udo & Gisela Putzkeís 3000
Second Place, Big Healeys

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Non-member Mike MacCleanís Supercharged Bugeye ñ Second Place, Sprites

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Ron & Sandy Daviesí V-8 Healey
Third Place, Big Healeys

 Member Steve Kirbyís MG won an award, too.

Mark Your Calendars ñ 2002 S.D.B.C.C.C. Events:

Rolling British Car Day ñ April 20th, Leaving from the Coronado Brewing Company at 11:00A.M. Contact Steve Kirby for details.

British Car Day ñ October 6th, same time (10:00AM to 2:00PM), same place (Fairbrook Farm in Bonsall). Home Town Buffet is onboard again, too.

Visit for updates.